"Hello. Into. Ink. Paper": Hello Museum, Korea`s first children`s art museum is holding an exhibition of Korean landscape paintings. But these aren`t just any paintings. Many of these works were specially created for children. Not only is the art custom-made for kids; it is also hung low on the wall, making it the perfect height for children to look at. Seo Eun-ae, who recently got attention at the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland, presents her version of a modern Asian landscape painting in "Long Afternoon" (2006), while Yim Tae-Kyu uses a double-layered technique to create quirky yet distinctly native art in "I Can Fly" (2007). For those who want their children to get even closer to art, Hello Museum also offers art classes on the second and fourth Saturday of every month.
Hello Museum`s current exhibition, "Hello. Into. Ink. Paper" runs through May 10. To get there, go to the Seolleung Subway Station Line 2, Exit 8. Then take buses 6411 or 3420 and get off at the second stop. Opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Tickets cost 20,000 won per child for the full course, and 8,000 won for just a tour. Art classes are 40,000 won per child. Pre- and post-visit lesson materials in English are available. Reservations need to be made a week in advance by phone. Call (02) 562-4420 to find out more.
"Trees and Flowers": Cais Gallery is spotlighting gray - the art world`s new "it" color - via Korean photographer Min Byung-hun`s monotone art. Veteran photographer Min, who has held 26 solo exhibitions to date and whose work is part of the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, captures the flora and fauna of Jeolla provinces and Geoje City with his telephoto lens. Min Byung-hun`s solo exhibition runs through May 14 at the Cais Gallery. Cais is located near Cheongdam Subway Station Line 7, Exit 7. For more information, call (02) 511-0668 or visit www.caisart.com
"Landscapic Algorithm": New gallery PKM Trinity kicked off its grand opening in April with a solo exhibition by famed artist Lee Sang-nam. Lee, whose works have been featured in the New York Times, Art in America and Art Asia Pacific, uses circles and lines to create streamlined art. At this solo exhibition, titled "Landscapic Algorithm," Lee`s colorful panels are strategically decorated with dizzying layers of overlapping circles and lines. The geometrical shapes resemble mathematical equations. And the viewer is invited to look for the answer to all this artistic arithmetic. Lee Sang-nam`s exhibition runs through May 20 at the PKM Trinity Gallery. The gallery is located about 10 minutes away from Apgujeong Subway Station, Line 3 on the second and third basement floors of the Trinity Place Building. For more information, call (02) 515-9496 or go to www.pkmgallery.com
"Anselm Kiefer": Don`t pass up a rare opportunity to see the works of iconic German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer. Born in 1945, this iconic German artist - he joins the ranks of Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol, perhaps, even surpasses them in some ways - studied under influential German artist Joseph Beuys in the 1970s before breaking off to develop his own controversial and alchemic art. Kukje Gallery`s "Anselm Kiefer-Geheimnis der Farne (The Secrets of Pteridophyta)" runs through May 24 in the new building. To get there go to the Gwanghwamun Subway Station Line 5, Exit 3. And take the Jongno 11 bus. For more information, call (02) 733-8449 or visit kukjegallery.com
"Atta Kim: On Air": The Rodin Gallery is currently showcasing Korean photographer Atta Kim`s famed "ON-AIR Project" series alongside his recent India and Indala series. In 2006, when he showcased his "ON-AIR Project" series at the International Center for Photography in New York, Atta Kim made headlines. Featured in the New York Times for this solo exhibition, he enthralled with his long exposures and layered photographs. Though both techniques have been used by photographers for ages, Kim has breathed new life into them using his own Asian sensibilities. Exploring the concept of existence, Kim photographed urban landscapes, public spaces and even ice for up 25 hours at a time. Atta Kim`s solo exhibition runs through May 25 at the Rodin Gallery. The gallery is a two minute walk from City Hall Subway Station Line 2, Exit 8. Tickets cost 3,000 won for adults, 2,000 won for adolescents. Opening hours are from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery opens till 9 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information call (02) 2259-7781 or
"The Jewels of Tiffany 1837-2007": Everyone knows diamonds are a girl`s best friend. And now, prestigious jewelry house Tiffany and Co. takes us on a journey through the fascinating and dazzling history of these enchanting baubles. With over 10 massive rooms worth of jewels, "The Jewels of Tiffany 1837-2007," overwhelms with 170 years worth of jewelry. From the Empress Eugenie Brooch, given to the French empress by Napoleon III, to the famed "Bird on a Rock," one of the world`s largest and finest yellow diamonds, visitors are treated to an opulent display of gems. "The Jewels of Tiffany 1837-2007" runs through June 8 at the Seoul Arts Center Hangaram Design Museum. To get there go to Nambu Bus Terminal Station Line 3, Exit 5. The museum is a five minute walk away. Tickets cost 12,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for adolescents and 6,000 won for children. Opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information call (02) 3471-3641 or visit www.Tiffany170years.com
"Herakles Archer - Antoine Bourdelle, the Exhibition": The Seoul Museum of Art is holding Korea`s first solo exhibition of one of the pioneers of 20th-century monumental sculpture, Frenchman Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929). Though he has not received a great deal of public exposure, it was Bourdelle who revived the traditional art of monumental sculpture by moving it back outdoors. And it was Bourdelle`s works that captured the attention of the great sculptor Auguste Rodin. Rodin, who admired Bourdelle`s works, brought him on as his assistant in 1893. Under Rodin`s tutelage, Bourdelle sculpted a wonderfully rugged and brutal series of the famed German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven. Visitors can check out eight works from this series at this exhibition, including "Beethoven de masque tragique." And visitors can also mull over some of his later works, which departed from Rodin`s weathered influences towards a more elegant and classical form of sculpture. His "Herakles Archer" series, in particular, demonstrates his use of early classical Greek sculpture to create a smoother, more liquid form. Bourdelle`s exhibition runs through June 8 at the Seoul Museum of Art. A total of 123 works, including 75 sculptures and 48 sketches and watercolors, will be on display. Tickets are 9,000 won for adults, 7,000 won for adolescents and 5,000 won for children. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. The museum is closed on Mondays. To get there, go to City Hall Station on Subway Line 2, Exit 11 or 12. For more information call (02) 2124-8800 or visit seoulmoa.seoul.go.kr
"Annette Messager": Koreans can see French artist Annette Messager`s award-winning work "Casino" at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, where a retrospective exhibition of her work is being held. Shown at the Venice Biennale in 2005, this tribute to the beloved Italian fairy-tale character, Pinocchio, helped Messager and France win the Biennale`s prestigious Golden Lion. Annette Messager`s solo exhibition runs through June 15 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in exhibition rooms 1 and 7. To get to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, go to Seoul Grand Park subway station, line 4, Exit 4. A shuttle bus runs from there to the museum every 20 minutes starting from 9:40 a.m. Tickets cost 3,000 won for adults. Admission is free for children and for adults over 65. Opening hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum closes at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (02) 2188-6114 or visit www.moca.go.kr
"Masterpieces in Ceramics from the V&A": The Korea Foundation Cultural Center is holding an exhibition of international ceramics from 3000 B.C. to the 20th century. Nine sections worth of Asian, Middle Eastern and European works await viewers. Among the ceramics on display are the 2-meter high turquoise scepter from ancient Egypt, a life-size goat from Augustus the Strong`s porcelain menagerie in Dresden and Sevres porcelain busts of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette made shortly before they were beheaded. To look at this extensive and well presented collection of wares visit the Korea Foundation Cultural Center located near City Hall Subway Station Line 2, Exit 9 in the JoongAng Ilbo Building. The exhibition runs through June 23. Tickets cost 6,000 won for adults, 5,000 won for students and 4,000 won for children. For more information call (02) 3789-5600 or visit www.kfcenter.or.kr
"Art of Cartier": Running through July 13, this exhibition presents an extensive look at the dazzling history of famed jeweler Cartier, from its beginnings in 1847 until the end of the 20th century. Visitors can feast their eyes on 267 pieces and check out a display of stock registers, sketchbooks, 76 original drawings, copies of glass negatives and a plaster cast. The four-part exhibition traces the development of Cartier`s distinctive artistry, from its revolutionary use of platinum and diamonds - they were the first to combine the two - to its creation of the style now known the world over as Art Deco. "The Art of Cartier" runs through July 13 at the National Museum of Art, Deoksugung. Tickets cost 10,000 won for adults, 7,000 won for adolescents and 5,000 won for children. To get there go to City Hall Subway Station Line 1, Exit 1 and enter Deoksugung. For more information call (02) 1588-7890 or visit www.artofcartier.co.kr
"Korean Art 1910-1960": Art aficionados can take in early-modern Korean art in one sitting at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The "Korean Art 1910-1960" exhibition on the third floor traces the early development of modern Korean art. Not only does this exhibition showcase the highly valuable works of Park Soo-keun - his work "A Wash Place" sold for a record 4.52 billion won ($4.51 million) last May - it also displays the art of Korea`s first female painter Na Hae-suck, one of Korea`s first impressionists Oh Jiho and leading Korean artist Lee Jung-sup. The "Korean Art 1910-1960" exhibition runs through Feb. 22, 2010. To get to the National Museum of Contemporary Art go to Seoul Grand Park Subway Station, Line 4, Exit 4. A shuttle bus runs from there to the museum every 20 minutes starting from 9:40 a.m. Tickets for adults cost 1,000 won, 500 won for adolescents. Admission is free for children and the elderly. Opening hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum closes at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information call (02) 2188-6000 or visit www.moca.go.kr
"Teeth": An English musical for children performed by native English speakers working with EBS, the state-run broadcasting station, teaches children about the importance of dental hygiene while helping them learn English at the same time. The musical is running for the second time in Seoul. Filled with vibrant choreography, bright costumes, exciting music and humor, the musical can be enjoyed by both children and parents. The story centers around Prince David, who was once rejected by the princess because of his bad breath, learning to care for his teeth and ends up rescuing the princess who is kidapped by cavities. The show runs through May 18 at COEX Art Hall in southern Seoul. Tickets are 30,000 won. For more information, call (02)747-0035 or visit www.smusical.com.
"Nebbia": Canadian contemporary circus troupe, Cirque Eloize, performs Daniel Finizi Pasca`s "Nebbia" in its Asian debut. Cirque nouveau, a modern-day circus movement, was popularized by Cirque du Soleil, but Cirque Eloize has taken it in a different direction. Using just the human body and a few props, the troupe covers the entire range of performance art, from acrobatics to music. "Nebbia" is the last in a trilogy of works, entitled "Sky," by Pasca. "Nebbia," which means "fog," expresses the world of dreams through performance.
The show runs from July 9 to 20 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit nebbia2008.com
"Soridoduk": Based on the Australian movie "Amy," the musical was adapted and directed by Cho Kwang-hwa, and centers around the character of Achim (which means "morning"), a girl who becomes so traumatized by the death of her father who used to be a popular singer that she becomes deaf and mute. Achim and her mother come to live in a small country town, filled with out-of-the-ordinary folks including an overzealous grandmother, a grandfather who is terrified of any kind of contamination, and a retarded teenager. Achim, who is haunted by the singing ghost of her father, nonetheless, is embraced and eventually healed by the townspeople, including Yoo-joon, a struggling singer who has come out to the country for inspiration. "Soridoduk" is playing at the Hoam Art Hall. The show is performed weekdays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 7 p.m. and Sundays and holidays at 3 and 6 p.m. The Hoam Art Hall is located 5 minutes from City Hall Station (Lines 1 and 2, Exit 9). Tickets run from 35,000 won to 60,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit soridoduk.com
"Goodbye Girl": Well-known TV actress Ha Hee-ra returns to the musical stage for the first time since her 1998 appearance in "Nonsense." Ha plays the role of Paula, a single mother who falls in love with Elliot played by Jung Sung-hwa. By focusing on the two developing their relationship, the musical delivers a family message and the importance of setting priorities. In the course of their romance, both Paula and Elliot discover the value of family and learn that before they can stand together as a couple, they must be able to stand up on their own. "Goodbye Girl" will run until June 15 at the Baekam Art Hall, located near Samsung Station (Line 2, Exit 8). Performances are Tuesdays to Fridays at 8 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee on Wednesday, and at 3 and 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. The performance is 150 minutes, including intermission, and tickets are 45,000 to 55,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.
"Snow Show": A magical show by internationally acclaimed comedian Slava Polunin will be shown at Universal Arts Center in Seoul May 8-11. The non-verbal show was hailed as an overwhelmingly spectacular and fun production, winning the Russian comedian a "Time Out Award" in London in 1993. After achieving success in London, the Russian performer presented his production in North America and was honored with the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. According to Yedang Entertainment, the show`s agency in Seoul, more than one million people around the world have watched the show. Tickets are 40,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6273-1114.
"Bremen Town Musicians": Chongdong Theater presents the musical "Bremen Town Musicians" through May 31. Based on the Grimm Brothers` classic fairy tale, the four animals in the musical - a donkey, a hound, a cat and a rooster - hit the road in the hope of becoming Bremen town musicians. The musical will be accompanied by live music that also includes such unique instruments as a rain stick, a traditional Chilean wind instrument and a traditional Hawaiian four-stringed ukulele. Characters will also sing acappella songs to kids to teach them about harmony. Tickets are 25,000 won and 30,000 won. Call (02) 751-1931 or visit www.chongdong.com for details.
"Mamma Mia": The Korean rendition of the immensely popular British musical "Mamma Mia" is playing at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul until May 14. The musical, a lighthearted mother-and-daughter relationship story built around 22 songs from the 1970s Swedish pop group ABBA, was created by British producer Judy Craymer and former ABBA members Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and made its premier in London in 1999. Since then, "Mamma Mia" has become one of the major attractions in the theatrical world, garnering over 10 million in audience and $500 million in earnings through performances in Europe, North America, Japan and other countries. The Korean cast includes musical divas Choi Jung-won, Lee Jae-young and Jeon Soo-kyung. Tickets are 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information call (02) 577-1987 or visit www.mamma-mia.co.kr
"Blackbird": A powerful production written by British writer David Harrower, which hit the West End stage three years ago. Based on a true story, the drama tells the tale of Una and Ray, who meet again 15 years after their relationship ended. Una had an affair with Ray, a 40-year-old friend of the family, when she was just 12. The drama is on stage at the Dongsoong Arts Center in Daehangno through May 21. Choo Sang-mi, a versatile actress takes the role of Una of suffering ego while veteran actor Choi Jung-woo plays Choo`s counterpart, Ray. Tickets are 25,000 won and 35,000 won. For more information, call (02) 766-6007.
"Applause to Julie": As the title would indicate, this play does not follow the story of Hamlet, but rather revolves around a number of poor actors and their lives as they prepare for a production of Hamlet. The actor playing Hamlet falls in love with his Ophelia, who in a past performance played Juliet and can`t get over her Romeo. The drama runs from Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., weekends and national holidays at 3 and 6 p.m. until May 5. Tickets are from 25,000 to 35,000 won. Doosan Art Space 111 is located at Jongno o-ga Station (Line 1, Exit 1). For ticketing and more information, call (02)708-5002 or visit doosanartcenter.com
"Liar, Part 1": "Run for Your Wife" - known as "Liar, Part 1" in Korean. This play puts a comic spin on the life of an ordinary man living two ordinary lives with two different wives. Song Sang-wook plays the role of John Smith, a man with a life as plain as can be. He, however, is married to both Mary and Barbara, and spends the better part of his life trying to keep his two lives separated while driving his taxi to pay the bills. John`s double life is turned upside down after he intervenes in a robbery and becomes a town hero of sorts. With the press involved and two police offers investigating, John must pump out lie after lie to try to keep everything under wraps. "Run for your wife" performs Tuesdays to Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 7 p.m. and at 3 and 6 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. The current show at Dongyang Art Hall, near Sinsa Station (Line 3, Exit 2), is on an open run. Performances are 100 minutes and adult admission is 25,000 won. For more information, call (02) 515-6510 or visit dyarthall.co.kr
"Some Girls": Installation theater Jungmiso, in the heart of Hyehwa-dong, brings Neil Labute`s "Some Girls" onto its stage, and by no means should it be a role model for anyone`s love life. Successful movie director Jin-woo returns from Paris to revisit the women of his past just before he gets married. Taking place entirely in Jin-woo`s hotel room, four women including a crazed high school girlfriend and an acting senior who taught him the business, come and go as the play explores the psyche of an overtly selfish man and the women who love (or loved) him. Splitting time as the main character - played by David Schwimmer of "Friends" in the opening performance at London`s West End - Choi Duk-moon and Lee Seok-june showcase their versatility. "Some Girls" runs until Aug. 10 at Jungmiso Theater, accessible from Hyehwa Station (Line 4, Exit 2). The 100-minute performance starts at 8 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays with an additional 4 p.m. matinee on Fridays, and at 3 and 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is 35,000 won. For more information, call (02) 766-6007 or visit idsartcenter.co.kr
"Seoul Theater Festival": Marking the 100th anniversary of theater in Korea this year, the Seoul Theater Association hosts the 29th Seoul Theater Festival through May 25. Eight performances chosen by the association are to be presented during the festival starting with "Hotel Splendid," a story depicting the life of four comfort women who were sexually abused by the Japanese soldiers during the World War II. The work is written by Lavonne Mueller, an American. The festival offers various events in which visitors can take part, such as costume parades. All plays are to be performed at Arco Arts Theater located at northern Seoul. For more information, call (02) 765-7500 or visit stheater.or.kr.
"Busan Int`l Performing Arts Festival": Aspiring to become Asia`s center for theatrical dramas, Busan holds its annual international performing arts festival until May 15 at the Busan Cultural Center and four other venues in the southeastern port city. Under the title "Music, the Essence of the Theater," this year`s festival will focus on music theater, a form of theater works combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The festival opens with "The Opera," a multimedia show by Squonk Opera from the United States and closes with musical "Sonagi (Rain Shower)" by the Seoul Metropolitan Musical Company. The festival will also feature Spanish non-verbal performer "M3" (on May 8-9 at Multimedia Theater of Kyungsung University), Russian cabaret show "Naphthalen" (on May 8-10 at the Busan Cultural Center) and Chinese puppet show "Once Upon A Time" (on May 5-15 at the Busan Cultural Center)." For more information and ticket reservation, call (051) 611-3703 or visit www.bipaf.org
"Paul Potts in Seoul": The sensational winner of last year`s "Britain`s Got Talent" will give his first recital in the country at the auditorium of Ewha Womans University, western Seoul, today and tomorrow. During the final round of the contest, watched by 13.5 million viewers, he stunned the show`s judges and audiences alike with the hauntingly beautiful rendition of Puccini`s "Nessun Dorma." Ticket prices range from 77,000 won to 132,000 won. Exit No. 2, Ewha Womans University Station on Subway Line No. 2. For more information, call (02) 722-6504.
"L`Arc-en-Ciel Concert": The Popular Japanese visual rock band will perform at the Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul Olympic Park, southeastern Seoul, on May 17. Comprised of vocalist Hyde, bassist Tetsu, guitarist Ken and drummer Yukihiro, the band whose name means rainbow in French has sold over 15 million albums and 30 million singles since it formed in Osaka in 1991. Ticket prices range from 44,000 won to 99,000 won. Exit No. 3, Olympic Park Station on Subway Line No. 5. For further information about the concert, call (02) 783-0114.
"Claude Bolling Big Band Concert": The world famous French jazz pianist, composer, arranger and conductor will give a concert with his band at the Goyang Aram Concert Hall on May 24. Bolling, 77, who virtually defined the concept of jazz-classical crossover with his groundbreaking album "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano," has collaborated with a variety of accomplished artists including cellist Yo-Yo Ma and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampaul. Tickets are from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. Exit No. 3, Jeongbalsan Station on Subway Line No. 3. For more information, call (031) 960-0017.
"Lee Jeong-won & Andrea Rost Duo Recital": Lee, the first Korean tenor ever to perform a major operatic role at the famed Italian La Scala Theater, will celebrate the first anniversary of the Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Complex with a duo concert with Andrea Rost, one of the top lyric sopranos, on May 10. During the concert, the two will present show-stopping arias from "Turandot," "Tosca," "La Traviata," "Rigoletto" and many more. Tickets are from 30,000 won to 120,000 won. Exit No. 3, Jeongbalsan Station on Subway Line No. 3. For more information, call (031) 960-0017.
"Pizzi Festival": Korea Opera Group will present Verdi`s "Aida" and Puccini`s "Turandot" at the Sejong Center, from May 13 to 18. The performance is the culmination of the opera company and celebrated Italian director Pier Luigi Pizzi`s three-year collaboration. During the festival, the two operatic masterpieces will be performed alternately: "Turandot" will be shown May 14, 16 and 18, while "Aida" is scheduled for May 13, 15 and 17. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 310,000 won. Exit No. 8, Gwanghwamun Station on Subway Line No. 5. For more information, call (02) 587-1950.